Mother Temple also named Besakih temple or in Indonesia language is Pura Besakih, is located in the village of Besakih (Rendang Sub-distric, Karangasem) right of the foot of Mount Agung, in the eastern part of Bali.
As its name already states, it is the mother of all temples and not just one of Bali's most importan temples it is the most important one in Bali! Besakih Temple is located about 1,000 meters above sea level and finally it is the highest substantial public temple complex. Besakih Temple dates back to about the 10th century (same age as Tirta Empul Temple) and is actually a complex conssting of about 30 singular temples, with hundreds of shrines, dedicated to the helpers of the Gods.
Besakih Temple is actually a complex made up of twenty-two temples that sit on parallel ridges. It has stepped terraces and flights of stairs which ascend to a number of courtyards and brick gateways that in turn lead up to the main spire or Meru structure, which is called Pura Penataran Agung.
All this is aligned along a single axis and designed to lead the spiritual person upward and closer to the mountain which is considered sacred. The main sanctuary of the complex is the Pura Penataran Agung. The symbolic center of the main sanctuary is the lotus throne or padmasana, which is therefore the ritual focus of the entire complex. It dates to around the seventeenth century.
A series of eruptions of Mount Agung in 1963, which killed approximately 1,700 people also threatened Puru Besakih. The lava flows missed the temple complex by mere meters.
The saving of the temple is regarded by the Balinese people as miraculous, and a signal from the Gods that they wished to demonstrate their power but not destroy the monument the Balinese faithful had erected.
Before you visit The Mother Temple, just for your info some local people pushy you to buy sarong or some handycrafts and pay some money to guiding your to look the temple complex. If you can't handle pushy people just stay away from Pura Besakih and see other major temples at Bali such as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Tanah Lot Temple, Taman Ayung Temple or Pura Tirta Empul at Tampak Siring.
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